Home Opinion Opinion: Attacks by the Islamic State are bringing terror closer to home

Opinion: Attacks by the Islamic State are bringing terror closer to home

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On Nov. 13, 129 people died, 352 were wounded with 99 in serious condition because of hatred. The Islamic State’s attacks in Paris occurred in six different locations, devastating the city and shocking the world. France declared the attacks acts of war, and its military carried out multiple bombings on the Islamic State’s stronghold in Raqqa. An attack in such a landmark city proves that terror has infiltrated our home-front and cannot be ignored.

The Islamic State’s goals differ from past terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. While the latter had goals of creating mass chaos, the former wants to create a unified Islamic State. The group does not play by rules of borders, and it seeks to destroy those who do not follow its strict, religious rules.

According to BBC, the group officially announced their caliphate, which is a state that strictly follows Islamic Law, in June 2014 after capturing Mosul in northern Iraq. In the beginning, they did not directly seek to cause terror in the West. However, they were willing to defend the Muslim community if provoked.

The Paris attack adds to the growing list of almost 100 major events and arrests in the group’s history. This month alone there has been a suicide bombing in Beirut, another in Egypt and a deadly stabbing in Bangladesh.

The double suicide bombing in Beirut, in which 40 people were killed and hundreds were wounded, occurred a day prior to the terror in Paris. The bombings occurred when the streets were crowded so the impact had potential to be greater.

Patrick M. Skinner, a former C.I.A. operation officer, pointed out that the most current attacks in Paris showed much more advanced vehemence against the public.

“The fact that they could do this, especially in Paris, where the intelligence service is really good, clearly there’s a hole somewhere,” he said.

Most other incidents have occurred with a “lone wolf” who carries out the action. However, in Paris, there was planning between multiple assailants that resulted in city-wide terror.

ISIS is estimated to include 28,000 foreign fighters. This number includes 250 Americans, which could continue to increase concern that fighters may return to their home countries and lead attacks from the inside.

A recent interview with a man in Ohio detained for his relationship to ISIS warned that there are followers in every state and attacks “that will follow are dangerous and more enormous.”

We currently live in a world where radical groups place terror outside of our homes and dorms. Political leaders are debating what to do, but there appears to be no easy answer. Should the U.S. intervene with military might to destroy the current terrorists, or does the U.S. attempt to find a social, economic and political solution? Given today’s reality, the solution likely involves both actions.

Watching from the sidelines is not an option.

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